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Q1

A plane monochromatic light wave, wavelength and frequency f, is incident normally on


two identical narrow slits, separated by a distance d, as indicated in Figure 1.1. The light
wave emerging at each slit is given, at a distance x in a direction at time t, by
)] / ( 2 cos[ x ft a y
where the amplitude a is the same for both waves. (Assume x is much larger than d).
(i) Show that the two waves observed at an angle to a normal to the slits, have a resultant
amplitude A which can be obtained by adding two vectors, each having magnitude
a
, and
each with an associated direction determined by the phase of the light wave.
Verify geometrically, from the vector diagram, that
cos 2a A
where

sin d
(ii) The double slit is replaced by a diffraction grating with N equally spaced slits, adjacent
slits being separated by a distance d. Use the vector method of adding amplitudes to show
that the vector amplitudes, each of magnitude a, form a part of a regular polygon with
vertices on a circle of radius R given by
,
sin 2
a
R
Deduce that the resultant amplitude is

sin
sin N a
1

Figure 1.1
d
and obtain the resultant phase difference relative to that of the light from the slit at the edge
of the grating.
(iii) Sketch, in the same graph, sin N and (1/sin) as a function of . On a separate graph
show how the intensity of the resultant wave varies as a function of .

(iv) Determine the intensities of the principal intensity maxima.
(v) Show that the number of principal maxima cannot exceed

,
_

+1
2

d

(vi) Show that two wavelengths + and , where << , produce principal maxima with
an angular separation given by
etc .... 2 , 1 , 0 e wher
cos
t t

n
d
n

Calculate this angular separation for the sodium D lines for which

2
B - A
.cos
2
cos 2 cos cos : reminder
m. 10 2 . 1 and , 2 nm, 6 . 589 , nm 0 . 589
6
1
]
1

,
_

,
_

+
+
+

B A
B A
d n
2
Q2
International Physics Olympiad 1956
2. Early this century a model of the earth was proposed in which it was assumed to be a sphere of
radius R consisting of a homogeneous isotropic solid mantle down to radius R
c
. The core region
within radius R
c
contained a liquid. Figure 2.1
The velocities of longitudinal and transverse seismic waves P and S waves respectively, are
constant, V
P
, and V
S
within the mantle. In the core, longitudinal waves have a constant velocity
V
CP
, < V
P
, and transverse waves are not propagated.
An earthquake at E on the surface of the Earth produces seismic waves that travel through the Earth
and are observed by a surface observer who can set up his seismometer at any point X on the
Earths surface. The angular separation between E and X, 2 given by
EOX Angle 2
where O is the centre of the Earth.
(i) Show that the seismic waves that travel through the mantle in a straight line will arrive at X at a
time t (the travel time after the earthquake), is given by
1
]
1

>
R
R
v
R
t
c
arccos for ,
sin 2

,
where v = v
P
for the P waves and v = v
S
for the S waves.
(ii) For some of the positions of X such that the seismic P waves arrive at the observer after two
refractions at the mantle-core interface. Draw the path of such a seismic P wave. Obtain a
relation between and i, the angle of incidence of the seismic P wave at the mantle-core
interface, for P waves.
3
R
E
X
Figure 2.1
RC
O
2
R
(iii) Using the data
R = 6370 km
R
C
= 3470 km
v
CP
= 10.85 km s
-1
v
S
= 6.31 km s
-1
v
CP
= 9.02 km s
-1
and the result obtained in (ii),draw a graph of against i. Comment on the physical consequences
of the form of this graph for observers stationed at different points on the Earth's surface.
Sketch the variation of the travel time taken by the P and S waves as a function of for 0 90
degrees.
(iv) After an earthquake an observer measures the time delay between the arrival of the S wave,
following the P wave, as 2 minutes 11 seconds. Deduce the angular separation of the earthquake
from the observer using the data given in Section (iii).
(v) The observer in the previous measurement notices that some time after the arrival of the P and
S waves there are two further recordings on the seismometer separated by a time interval of 6
minutes 37 seconds. Explain this result and verify that it is indeed associated with the angular
separation determined in the previous section.
4
Q3
Three particles, each of mass m, are in equilibrium and joined by unstretched massless springs, each
with Hookes Law spring constant k. They are constrained to move in a circular path as indicated in
Figure 3.1.
(i) If each mass is displaced from equilibrium by small displacements u
1
, u
2
and u
3
respectively,
write down the equation of motion for each mass.
(ii) Verify that the system has simple harmonic solutions of
the form
t a u
n n
cos
,
with accelerations, ) 3 , 2 , 1 ( where ) (
2
n a u
n n
are constant amplitudes, and , the angular
frequency, can have 3 possible values,
and 3 , 3
o o
0. where
m
k
o

2
.
(iii) The system of alternate springs and masses is extended to N particles, each mass m is joined by
springs to its neighbouring masses. Initially the springs are unstretched and in equilibrium. Write
down the equation of motion of the nth mass (n = 1,2...N) in terms of its displacement and those of
the adjacent masses when the particles are displaced from equilibrium.
, cos
2
sin ) ( t
N
ns
a t u
s s n

,
_

+
are oscillatory solutions where s = 1, 2,...N , n = 1, 2, ...N and where

is an arbitrary phase,
providing the angular frequencies are given by
, sin 2
,
_

N
s
o s


where
) ,...... 1 ( N s a
s

are constant amplitudes independent of n.
State the range of possible frequencies for a chain containing an infinite number of masses.
5
u3
u1 u2
k
k
k
m
m
m
Figure 3.1
(iv) Determine the ratio
1
/
+ n n
u u
for large N, in the two cases:
(a) low frequency solutions
(b)
max max
where ,
is the maximum frequency solution.
Sketch typical graphs indicating the displacements of the particles against particle number along
the chain at time t for cases (a) and (b).
(v) If one of the masses is replaced by a mass m' << m estimate any major change one would
expect to occur to the angular frequency distribution.
Describe qualitatively the form of the frequency spectrum one would predict for a diatomic chain
with alternate masses m and m' on the basis of the previous result.
Reminder
A A
B A B A
B A
B A B A B A
2 cos 1 sin 2
2
cos
2
sin 2 sin sin
sin cos cos sin ) sin(
2

,
_

,
_

+
+
+ +
6